As you approach retirement it’s important to be aware of these Three Wealth Killing Risks That Can Threaten Your Retirement:

1. Sequence of returns – current market conditions at the time of your retirement can affect the abundance of and ability for retirement.

2. Rising cost of healthcare – the average couple aged 65 will have to come out of pocket with $225,000 for healthcare costs in retirement.

3. Withdrawal rates –How much money of your portfolio can you afford to spend per year without risk of running out of money? Some say 4%, but we feel it is closer to 2%, according to a Wall Street Journal article, “Say Goodbye To the 4% Rule.

Let’s discuss in a bit more detail each of the Three Wealth Killing Risks That Can Threaten Your Retirement.

Sequence of returns – Average historic returns can only tell you so much, since you cannot use past behavior to predict future performance with 100% certainty. To explain what this means to you, here is my favorite hypothetical example:

John and Susan both have $500,000 dollars upon retirement at age 65 and will each average the same 8.03% rate of return. Additionally, they will each withdraw 5% each year from their portfolio, and increase that a bit, or about 3% each year to adjust for inflation. When all is said and done, John runs out of money at age 82. He did not lose money because he started with $500,000 and his total withdrawals are $580,000. He simply outlived his money, or ran out of money. Susan, on the other hand, happens to retire at the right time, because although she withdraws at the same rate John did, she lives to age 89, never runs out of money, and upon her death, she spent over $911,000 and leaves $1.5 million to her heirs.

What was the difference? Why did Susan have over $2 million more than John? The sequence of returns!

Sequence of returns is unknowable, but it is important to make a solid plan to deal with potential negative effects of sequence of returns to give yourself the best chance at financial prosperity in retirement.

The Rising Cost of Healthcare – Not many pre and post retirees have $225,000 to set aside for healthcare costs in retirement, and for that reason it is crucial to be aware of what Medicare does and does NOT cover.

Medicare Part A pays hospital and major medical expenses and Part B pays physician and diagnostic expenses, with a copay. However, it was never intended or designed to pay for everything. In fact, it was created under Linden Johnsen’s presidency when Americans did not live nearly as long as we do today.

For this reason, we must plan for $225,000-$250,000 of out of pocket unreimbursed medical expenses. Can this be done, especially if we can’t afford long term care insurance? Yes. This risk can be managed through insurance, or otherwise, to potentially prepare you for those unreimbursed medical expenses in retirement.

Withdrawal rates – a more realistic expectation in retirement is an ability, with proper planning, to potentially spend about 2% of your properly planned portfolio per year, without running the risk of outliving your money. This withdrawal rate truly can vary, however, based upon your individual investments, from 1-4% (or more).

The IRS publishes a table each year of required minimum distributions that must be taken at age 70 ½ and beyond, per year from your portfolio. This IRS table provides a good benchmark of, year over year, how much you can afford to take, according to the Internal Revenue code and their actuaries who specialize in life expectancies, managing longevity risk, etc. This is not an assurance, but rather a good, research based, guideline to consider when deciding how much money you can afford to take each year in retirement.

Considering these Three Wealth Killing Risks That Can Threaten Your Retirement will help you thrive in retirement and not just survive.

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Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors, (RWA) a Registered Investment Advisor. Educated Wealth Center and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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